In addition to the countless hours I spend conducting Internet research, I talk and correspond with employers, recruiters, and HR personnel to discover what they like and what they don’t like about the resumes they see. Today I am focusing on what they don’t like. Most of what I hear isn’t surprising—it is usually the same few common complaints over and over. So, I thought I would share those complaints with my readers so they know what to avoid in resume-writing.
#1 Complaint: No Relevance!
Because this is the top complaint, I felt it worthy of an exclamation point. No Relevance! What I hear over and over is that applicants send in resumes exhibiting little or no relevance to the job posting the employer has provided them, and since he or she has precious little time to scour every resume searching for the relevance, the reader just gives up and tosses these vague, non-responsive resumes on the shred pile.And ATSs don’t even recognize these kinds of nonresponsive resumes.
I have spoken in my blog articles many times of generic resumes and the dangers of sending them out. This #1 complaint is proof I have given good advice. If you cannot match your qualifications, work experience, attributes, and skills to those described in the job posting, do not waste your time writing a resume with no relevance to the employer.
#2 Complaint: Laundry-Lists
My younger readers may not be familiar with this term. A laundry-list is what one writes to describe a long list of duties, responsibilities, things done, and, what the applicant regards as his or her skills. It looks like this:
- open and closed store
- made bank deposits
- entered sales into spreadsheets
- kept track of inventory
- customer service
- cleaned store
- trained staff
- good with numbers
- punctual and reliable
I have been told these laundry-lists are a close second to the #1 complaint, and often are a part of the ‘no-relevance’ complaint because they are meaningless. No description of how these duties were carried out, why they were done, and what the outcomes of these activities resulted in leaves employers with a “nothing” impression of the applicants who fill their resumes with laundry-lists.
#3 Complaint: Bad Formatting, Spelling, and Grammar
This one does surprise me. Not because employers are complaining about it, but because it is still happening! With the resources available to even the greenest of word processor users, there is absolutely no reason a resume should go out poorly-formatted full of spelling and grammatical errors. If you aren’t great using computers or word processors, find someone who is!
Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer, I can develop a kick-ass resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, hiring an expert to write such an important document can make the difference between going to interviews and staying at home. As always, I invite your comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers.